Each club identifies the needs of its community, then establishes specific projects to address these needs. All SI projects relate to one or more of the six Programme Focus Areas: Economic Empowerment, Environmental Sustainability, Food Security and Healthcare, Learning Opportunities and Violence and Conflict Resolution. The projects listed below include some of the local and international issues we research and support in SI Gosport, Fareham and District:
Current project work:
- Bookmarks, to distribute into schools to girl guides, showing on one side the characteristics of a loving relationship and on the other the indicators of abuse. The sides are labelled: Loves me…, Loves me not;
- Basics Bank, coordinating regular donations of food staples from the club (check stock levels here);
- Contact the Elderly. A tea party for the local (Fareham and Southampton) Contact the Elderly groups is held each summer, usually at Hill Head. The club also funds Christmas presents for the group. One club member is the local organiser for the Fareham and Gosport group, and would welcome any offer of help as a driver once a month or as an hostess once a year.
- STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is recognised nationally, and internationally, that the STEM subjects are dominated by (white, western) males; hence there is a campaign to encourage girls into STEM. Drawing from the example of SI Bournemouth, we are investigating whether to offer sponsorship for some local 11-14yr old school-girls to gain the CREST award at either Discovery or Bronze level. The awards are the flagship programme from the British Science Association, and provide accreditation for project work in STEM subjects.
- Quilts, being made for Project Linus UK, a volunteer organisation that aims to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home made patchwork quilts and knitted/crocheted blankets – with 7 of the target 11 now completed; 15 quilts have also been given to children in the local refuges.
- Women in Prison. Raising awareness of their needs.
- other minor donations, for such as Tools for Self Reliance, and collecting toiletries for Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
Gathering (collecting for recycling)
We are starting to formalise our recycling and collections as a club, as these now include:
- 5p coins. Raising money for the regional link with House no.1 at Mamelodi village, for AIDS orphans in South Africa.
- Food and hygiene products. For the Basics Bank.
- Stamps. Collected from the club to be put towards Hounds for Heroes.
- Milk bottle tops. Collected from the club to be put towards Naomi House.
- Foreign currency. For donation to Hounds for Heroes.
- Used bras. To be recycled.
- Used spectacles. For donation.
- Gadgets. SIGBI has a campaign for recycling.
- Tassimo pods. Cafe iMBiZO in Fareham community church collect these.
- Toiletries. Donations for Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
- Boxed DVDs and music CDs. To be sold online for a small return of money to be donated to the club’s chosen charity.
From 2016-2019 we will also support the International Federation’s Meru Women’s Garden Project helping women in a poor part of Kenya to improve their lives and that of their families.
Until April last year, we supported the local Women’s Refuges, including collecting toiletries for new arrivals and arranging a summer outing for the families to a local country park. Several members are on the Fareham and Gosport Family Aid (FGFA) Management Committee. This has been an on-going project for a number of years, but in 2003 we gave them £5,000 towards providing an all-weather play area for the children.
Lean Lunch for SI Quadrennial Project
We held the first Lean Lunch event in 2004 as a joint venture with other local Soroptimist clubs and raised £300. Successive events were held in support of Project Independence at the same venue, but run by SI Southampton and SI Chichester. The event was again organised by SI Gosport and Fareham in 2008 and by SI Winchester in 2011 when the speaker, Fergus Lyons, gave a good talk on the history of WOW (Wonders of Waste) bags, made in the Philippines from discarded juice containers.
The four clubs had tables selling their wares and Gosport and Fareham members ran a book stall that raised £28. This money was spent on producing a bookmark raising awareness of domestic abuse that was distributed initially to pupils at Bay House, Gosport. This is an ongoing project and other schools in Gosport and Fareham have now received bookmarks and they will be extended to local girl guides.
We have held other fund-raising events such as a jacket potato evening, a coffee morning, a BBQ lunch and quiz night . A patchwork quilt made by around a dozen club members was raffled at our Federation Conference in Brighton in October 2011 and raised about £600 that was donated to the local Alzheimer’s Society. In 2014-15 we supported the Hampshire Air Ambulance.
Each year we support a chosen charity, which in 2008-09 was again the Hampshire Air Ambulance. In the club year 2009-10 it was the Alzheimers Society, in addition to supporting the SI quadrennial appeal, Project SIerra. In 2010-11 Macmillan Cancer Support was chosen, as well as Project SIerra. In 2011-12 we continued supporting the Alzheimers Society and other local charities including Girl Guides, Haslar Radio and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. During 2012-13 we donated £500 each to The Stroke Association and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as well as £100 to Rowan’s Hospice and £50 to the International President’s Appeal. In 2015 we gave £100 to the International President’s Appeal, Educate to Lead Nepal. In addition we gave donations to six speakers who came to the club. Abbeyfield and Macmillan were among the beneficiaries. In 2016 we are supporting the local branch of Headway, the charity that helps brain-injured people ,and AFFECT, a local charity that supports families of those in prison.
The club has made a valuable contribution to the regional efforts on such projects as conducting a rail safety survey, lobbying for landmine action and collating statistics on the number of volunteer hours done by our members. In June 2011 the club donated £300 to support one house for 11 children in Mamelodi village for orphaned and abused children in our regional Friendship Link of SI South Africa – other regional projects are also being considered, which we would play our part in supporting.